Water tunnel bypass project set to begin

16 January 2013

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has issued the contract for construction of two shafts at the Rondout West Branch Tunnel of the Delaware Aqueduct, local news reports revealed this week. The contract was awarded to New Jersey-based company, Schiavone Construction of Secaucus, for USD 101.66M.

The work is aimed at constructing two shafts; one in Newburgh and the other in Wappinger. They will be connected to a bypass tunnel that will be drilled under the Hudson River. This will allow crews to seal leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct in Roseton and Wawarsing when that tunnel is shut down, the report added.

Clearing and site work on the Newburgh side is expected to begin this month, with actual construction of the 900ft (274m) deep tunnel to start in the spring. The shaft on the Dutchess side will be drilled to the depth of 700ft.

Shaft drilling work is expected to take three years, although the contract has a four year completion date. Once the shafts have been drilled, a 12,820ft (3,908m) long tunnel will be drilled under the Hudson River. The tunnel is expected to cost USD 750M to 900M and take up to 10 years to complete.